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Sacred Springs

28 29 Situated to the north of Preston, the attractive well at Fernyhalgh is a healing and pilgrimage shrine to this day. The legend of its discovery concerns a seafaring Irish merchant who, journeying home, was caught in a fierce storm. Praying to God, he vowed that if he were saved he would perform a pious deed. When finally washed onto the Lancashire shore, a voice told him to find a crabtree at Fernyhalgh and there build a chapel. He searched the area, but was unable to find the place at all. Later, returning to where he was staying, he heard that the maid there was out looking for a lost cow. When she returned, he heard that the cow had been found at Fernyhalgh. So he asked the maid to direct him and there he found an undiscovered statue of the Virgin Mary, the spring and an unusual crabtree that had coreless fruit. Here he built his shrine. Slightly further to the north is the Church Well in a recess near the Heysham church, and St Michaels Well at BoltonleSands, a beautiful, clear and bubbling spring which is carefully tended. To the south is the recently restored Standish Well, and the enigmatic Hicbibi Well, hidden in undergrowth near Coppull. lADyEWEll Fernyhalgh, Lancashire
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